HIV in Haiti

Essay by person190College, UndergraduateA+, March 2014

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HIV in Haiti

Being once considered the birthplace of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Haiti has had a long history of strife that has caused suffering among its people. Being colonized by the Spanish and then later ruled by the French, the social ramifications can be easily seen in the culture of Haiti (1). The majority of Haitians is Catholics and speaks Haitian Creole, a variation of the French language (1). Haiti has long since had a big string of bad luck from multiple civil wars to many coup d'états. Political instability continued well into the 2000s. Not surprisingly, the economy of Haiti is not in good shape either. Once considered the "Pearl of the Antilles" during colonial times, Haiti has since been thrown into extreme poverty and a pile of debt (1). Haiti is now considered the poorest country in the western hemisphere. To make things worse, on January 12, 2010, Haiti was devastated by a 7.0

earthquake that destroyed many cities and killed hundreds of thousands of people (1).

HIV/AIDS is a disease that has been in Haiti since 1950s. The prevalence of HIV in Haiti is considered to be one of the highest in all of the Caribbean and even the Western Hemisphere. Having a high prevalence of 3.6% of adults being HIV+ in 1995, it has since gone down by almost half to 1.9% in 2010 (3). Although it has indeed gone down, the percentage of adults HIV+ is still considered extremely high when compared to other countries in the Western hemisphere. The estimated total number of people with HIV in Haiti number in the hundreds of thousands, 146,801 documented people to be exact (4). The number of people who have died from AIDS is also staggering, at 11,000 deaths per year since 2000. The availability of ARVs...